The largest exhibition space in the history of the event combined with 55,000 visitors to celebrate 60 years of showcasing agricultural technology
The largest exhibition space in the history of the Henty Machinery Field Days combined with 55,000 visitors to celebrate 60 years of showcasing the latest in agricultural technology to a global audience.
Community groups throughout the Riverina were also the benefactors of the milestone event with funds raised by the not-for-profit Henty Machinery Field Days to be ploughed back into community social capital and infrastructure.
The September 2023 event was also the 60th annual Henty Machinery Field Days and the committee went to great lengths to feature 14km of outdoor shop fronts with more than 800 exhibitors representing over 3500 companies across 1200 sites.
Farmers and visitors from every state and territory sought out the hot ticket items of compact tractors, hay and silage equipment, tillage, fencing, and grain handling equipment, headers and stock handling equipment.
HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the event had showcased over $200 million in agricultural machinery, quantifying the event had matured into one of the nation’s leading field days.
“We had 55,000 visitors across the three days with the bulk of those attending on Wednesday 20 September, the middle of the event,” Belinda Anderson added.
Belinda said that with the largest exhibition area in event’s history combined with strong crowd numbers it represented a massive economic injection to the local, regional and national economy.
“The growth of this event post covid has ensured its future. The team at HMFD continue to develop the event with showcasing agriculture as its primary objective,” Belinda continued.
Belinda Anderson also explained how the HMFD hosted a trade delegation from the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership including a High Commission of Canada representative.
The delegates were actively looking to explore mutual business opportunities in agricultural machinery and agtech.
Belinda Anderson also found time to launch an 84-page coffee table style book on the 60-year history of the event.
The field days were officially opened on Tuesday 19 September by Kotzur Managing Director Andrew Kotzur of Walla Walla NSW, also marking 60 years since his family company first exhibited at the event in 1963 at the Henty showground.
Bryson Terlich from Table Top NSW, Barry Scholz from Henty NSW, Neil Bahr Henty, and Kerry Piestch Pleasant Hills NSW, all served as HMFD Cooperative members, directors and volunteers since the first field days in 1963, and cut the 60th anniversary cake.
The four men have given a combined total of 240 years of voluntary work to the field days across six decades.
A highlight of this year was the coveted Henty Machine of the Year Award being presented to the GUSS autonomous orchard sprayer entered by Hutcheon and Pearce.
Highly commended was The Shepherd Feedlot Auto Drafter entered by Justin Dunn, of Temora.
In other awards, FarmTech from Wodonga VIC won the Greater Hume Council Award for the best new Australian designed and built agricultural machine for the Ausmix XL26 Fibrex 26-cube feed mixer. See a review of AusMix model releases here.
Reseller of industry-leading farming machinery including tractors and harvesters, CLAAS Harvest Centre Wagga Wagga NSW won the award for the Best Large Commercial while the Australian Defence Force Careers took out the Best Outdoor General.
Graphic designer and children’s book illustrator Sarah Hardy was a first time exhibitor but still managed to win the Best Indoor site in Country Lifestyle with her business Popcorn Blue.
Bec Macdougall and her premium specialty coffee business Emme Mac Black was awarded Best Indoor Site at Farm Gate Produce Market.
New this year was the TEKFARM Agritech Innovation Awards held in partnership with Farmers2Founders and open to tertiary and university students, farmers, backyard tinkerers and innovators from any state.
Henty farmer Daniel Klemke received the Innovative Producer Award for his Safe-Cut, while Nick Seymour of Farmo won the Agtech Innovation of the Year with the Water Rat.
Hamish Munro from Pairtree received the award for Emerging AgTech Innovation of the Year, while Jess Bikaum of Bee Buddy was awarded the Female Innovator of the Year.
Vintage machinery was also to the fore at Henty this year with a display of five of the world’s rarest tractors, the Australian designed and built Upton, with owners bringing their machines from Mudgee NSW, Swan Hill VIC, Ardlethan, Corowa and Albury NSW for the one-off event.
The design and manufacturing staff from the 1970s Upton manufacturing team also attended.
The Henty and District Antique Farm Machinery Club celebrated the centenary of the Farmall tractor and Howard rotary hoe production.
Henty was a platform for the debut to the Australian market of the JBS Manure Spreader and the CLAAS Torion model range while Telstra unveiled a new mobile base station.
Compact tractors and machinery for lifestyle blocks were in strong demand this year but exhibitors say rain in coming weeks could build on the inquiry for broadacre harvesting machinery, grain handling and hay/silage equipment.
Landpower Australia National Sales and Operations Manager, Paul Birbeck said there had been strong inquiry despite farmers waiting for a good rainfall.
“We had some interest on hay and bigger seeding and tillage equipment with a lot of people getting their prices together on machines,” Paul Birbeck added.
Case IH Regional Sales Manager Norm Bradshaw said the burst of hot weather earlier in the week may have put a dampener on some crops, “If we can get a rain going into October, there will be a lot of happy people around for sure,” Norm added.
Hutcheon and Pearce Sales and Marketing Manager Andrew Watt said rain over the next month could bring to fruition strong enquiry received at the field days, “The crops around Henty have been holding up strongly – another drink in the next four to six weeks will hopefully see the crops fill.
“Henty was a good event and a great celebration of 70 years for the company,” Andrew Watt added.
HMFD is set to host their 61st field days on 17 to 19 September 2024 with planning already underway. For information about the Henty Machinery Field Days 2024 see more on this link.